Monday, February 02, 2009

The Green Shoots of Recovery

Digital library On Friday I was pleased to be asked to attend a meeting to discuss the development of a three year strategy for the University of Leicester's Digital Library.

  • Identify and involve the key stakeholders in development of the strategy
  • Raise awareness of developments around Digital Libraries to inform the process of creating a strategy
  • Identify key elements to be taken into account in order to produce the strategy by considering what is required from the Digital Library
Gareth has already written up the content so the session, so rather than repeating that here, I'll concentrate on my non-Librarian impressions of the meeting. To be honest, I didn't really know what to expect in advance, but I was hugely relieved at both the tone and the substance of what was discussed. That's not to say there are no barriers in the way of achieving what, I am now convinced, everyone at the meeting would like to see happen. However, the perceived barriers are not conceptual or financial, but rather an institutional culture which is not always supportive of innovation, and sometimes appears unable to balance the downside risk of possible failures against the benefits of what could be achieved by embracing a more user-focused approach.

I'll certainly be doing everything I can to see that the ideas discussed on Friday are put it into practice, but it would be naive to believe that there is not a long road ahead before real change is evident to Library users.